In 2004 a documentary film, called ‘Super Size Me’, was created by Morgan Spurlock. The film documents the physical and psychological well being of Mr. Spurlock as he ate only McDonald’s food, 3 meals a day, for 30 days. During those 30 days, Mr. Spurlock gained 24 pounds and experienced several other physical and psychological changes.
Spurlock’s documentary film has a scene that sought to prove how effectively McDonalds has impacted current generations. In the film Mr. Spurlock meets schoolchildren and shows them images, one each of George Washington, Ronald McDonald and Jesus Christ. All of the children recognized Ronald McDonald and most of the children recognized George Washington. Not a single child was able to recognize a commonly seen image of Jesus Christ.
This part of the movie brutally reveals that our nation is a post-Christian culture. Most of us who attend Meridian Avenue Baptist Church grew up at a time where Jesus was still spoken of at school meetings and sporting events. The influence of the church has declined with the passing of each of the past seven decades.
First Timothy 2:3-4 says, ‘3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior. 4 who wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.’ Matthew 28:19-20 says, ’19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
The Bible tells us what pleases God and instructs us to effectively impact the hearts and lives of people. Morgan Spurlock’s documentary revealed that McDonalds has an increasing impact while the influence of the church is declining. Most churches in our country have shrinking membership and have become stagnant.
To address this stagnation, many churches have introduced new programs; Saturday basketball for the kids, mom’s day out, date night for parents and concerts to mention a few. While these programs are often good for kids and parents they don’t really address the mission of the church; the mission to make disciples and transform lives.
Unless the church addresses their mission to make disciples and transform lives, the church fails God. It is to this end that the Meridian Avenue has asked Pastor Dick to come and help us find our path, the path that God has chosen for us, to transform how we do things and effectively lead people to Christ.
* recognition given to ‘Simple Church’ by Rainer & Geiger, chapter 8, pages 227-228 for the information shared above.